My Bragg Peak

This week’s writing challenge from the Daily Post was to use metaphor or simile in your writing.  I wasn’t planning on doing it.  I feel like I am doing well to post at all this week.  But, then, I had this physics lecture.  And I knew what I had to do…

I have a Bragg peak.

I function on a general level of energy deposition.  I have a high baseline, but it is pretty stable.  I can putter along flitting and yammering and getting all sorts of things done.  Eventually, I do this for so long that I get rather wired.  Sometimes because so many things have to be done or because I get even more encouraged by what I am doing, I end up doing a whole bunch in a short period of time.  And then I crash and want to do nothing.  Kind of like when I am on call.  There is a low point around 3 or 4 in the morning, but otherwise, you kind of putter along and do more and more as time goes on.  By the time everybody gets in to round, you have a “second wind” or a burst of energy and productivity (or silliness), just before you crash down to sheer exhaustion and sleepiness.

I think of these two events as the Trisha Bragg peak phenomenon.

Image from ptcri.ox.ac.uk

The Bragg peak is something physics people use to describe the energy loss of ionizing radiation (like protons or ions) during its travel through matter.  When these particles move through matter, they deposit energy along their path.  As their energy decreases, they interact more with the things around them. Thus, just before they run out of energy completely, they react a whole bunch, leading to a sharp peak of energy deposition just before they stop.

And thus, I have a Bragg peak.  I go along and put more and more of myself into things until I reach a motivated point where I do a bunch and then have to stop from fatigue (or just plain being out of tasks).  Or I have energy that suddenly peaks before I burn out completely.

To sum things up, I am kind of like a charged particle.  I have a Bragg peak.  Surgery is most definitely proving this fact.  Physics half-day just confirmed it.

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3 thoughts on “My Bragg Peak

  1. Pingback: You just wouldn’t believe, you just wouldn’t even know… « At least we made it this far…

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